How does someone become a Commercial Mechanical Inspector?
ICC certifications are essential for building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials. Certifications demonstrate that the inspector or plans examiner is properly trained in their field of expertise and can effectively apply the code to construction projects. Becoming a certified commercial mechanical inspector requires passing an International Code Council (ICC) certification exam. The entire process requires three basic steps:
1. Learn what the ICC requires for Commercial Mechanical Inspectors
The ICC commercial mechanical inspector exam requires the applicant to be knowledgeable in the International Mechanical Code (IMC). The IMC is the most commonly adopted code for mechanical systems that creates minimum regulations for commercial mechanical systems. It brings together all mechanical provisions for commercial buildings into a single book. From this code, an examinee must be able to answer questions from the following categories:
General Administration 17%
Project Administration 4%
Verify that project information, including approved plans and specifications, is provided and is adequate. Verify that required permits are issued and valid. Verify that products not detailed in the code are approved by the building official and installed according to their listing.
Public Information and Legal 2%
Provide general information on code provisions.
Plan Reading 6%
Verify that project information ,including approved plans and specifications, is provided and is adequate. Verify that the mechanical system is installed according to approved plans.
Manufacturer's Installation Instructions 5%
Verify the manufacturer’s installations and the listing of the equipment have been followed for installation.
Heating/Cooling/Water Heaters 18%
Heating Equipment 6%
Verify that the installations of mechanical equipment and appliances comply with code requirements, the manufacturer's instructions, and listing of the equipment, and have proper access, clearances, supply air, return air, and connection to ducts and plenums.
Water Heaters and Boilers 4%
Verify that the installation of water heaters and boilers complies with code requirements, the manufacturer's instructions, and listing of the equipment, and have proper access and clearances.
Cooling and Refrigeration 2%
Verify that the installation of cooling and refrigeration systems complies with code requirements, the manufacturer’s instructions, and listing of the equipment, and have proper access and clearances, supply air, return air, and connection to ducts and plenums. Verify the proper class of refrigerants used. Verify that refrigeration piping, valves, and controls are installed according to code provisions. Verify size, clearances, access, exits, emergency controls, and signs in refrigeration rooms.
Other Systems 2%
Verify that special systems utilizing fuel-burning equipment such as interior open-flame grills, pool and sauna heaters, hydronic heating systems, incinerators, crematories, decorative appliances, etc. comply with code requirements, the manufacturer’s instructions, and listing of the equipment, and have proper access and clearances.
Heat Pumps and Solar Thermal Energy 4%
Verify that hydronic heating, including ground source heat pump systems an solar thermal energy systems comply with code requirements, the manufacturer's instructions, and listing of the equipment and have proper access and clearances.
Exhaust and Ventilation Systems 20%
Ventilation Systems 6%
Verify that supply, return, outside air, and environmental exhaust air is provided and the installation of exhaust systems complies with code requirements. Verify that proper mechanical ventilation is provided where required.
Hood and Kitchen Ventilation 8%
Verify compliance with code provisions for commercial hoods, kitchen ventilation, and filters. Verify size, location, clearances, materials, enclosures, motors, fans, and safety devices.
Hazardous Vapors/Emergency Exhaust System 2%
Verify that the exhaust system for hazardous vapors is in accordance with the code and approved plans. Verify emergency exhaust systems for atrium, stairway, or smokeproof enclosures are in accordance with the code and approved plans.
Product-Conveying Ventilation Systems 4%
Verify code compliance for product-conveying ventilation systems and ducts. Inspect motors, fans, filters, hoods, and enclosures. Inspect location, support, termination material, and construction of product-conveying systems.
Duct Systems 12%
Duct Construction and Installation 4%
Verify that ducts are constructed of acceptable materials and that installation methods, including support and insulation, comply with code.
Duct and Plenum Use and Application 2%
Verify the correct use and application of ducts and plenums with the mechanical system installed. Verify sizing of the supply and return air ducts.
Smoke and Fire Dampers 6%
Verify the correct location, use, and application of smoke and fire dampers and volume and balancing dampers, and that they are installed in accordance with the code and approved plans.
Combustion Air 8%
Combustion Air 8%
Verify proper sources of air supply for fuel burning appliances, and size and location of openings. Verify that materials and installation of combustion air ducts comply with code.
Chimneys and Vents 14%
Venting of Fuel-Burning Appliances 8%
Verify size, type, location, clearances, connections, and terminations of vents and venting systems.
Chimney and Vent Connectors 6%
Verify size, type, location, and clearances of chimney and vent connectors for compliance with code.
Fuel Supply Systems 10%
Fuel Supply Installation and Sizing 8%
Verify that gas piping systems are installed with proper materials, with proper supports, and are sized properly. Verify that fuel gas piping is tested for tightness.
Fuel System Connections 2%
Verify that fittings, valves, connections, and transition of materials are in compliance with code.
2. How to study for the Commercial Mechanical Inspector (M2) exam
Knowing how to tackle answering questions from all of the required sections is a daunting task. Practicing answering commercial mechanical code questions is essential for an inspector or someone about to take an exam. In the field, an inspector should be able to answer general questions about heating, cooling, duct, vent, combustion air and fuel supply installations. During an exam, test takers must be able to navigate the International Mechanical Code fast enough to answer all of the questions within the allowed time of 2 hours. Building Code Masters has several practice exams for mechanical inspectors to test their skills and learn the most essential questions and scenarios they will be presented with. Practice exams for commercial mechanical inspectors can be found through the provided links below:
3. How to take the ICC Commercial Mechanical Inspector exam
When taking a mechanical code examination, it is essential to be able to navigate the code fast enough to find all of the answers. Most ICC examinations are open book and because of this, obscure and hard to memorize material will be included in all of the examinations i.e. large tables and mathematical formulas. The 2018 commercial mechanical inspector exam requires applicants to be able to answer the following questions in the allocated time:
Number of questions: 50
Time limit: 2 hours
This means that examinees will have roughly two and a half minutes per question. It may appear as a generous amount of time but some questions will be longer and more in depth than others which requires an inspector to be able to have section locations of the book memorized. Having chapter locations memorized and pacing oneself will lead to passing the exam. Practice exams from Building Code Masters prepare test takers for the time crunch and memorization of the most important sections of the code. Whether the exam be focused on building, mechanical, electrical, or plumbing, Building Code Masters has all of the study materials available to help test takers learn how to become better educated building inspectors, plans examiners, and building officials.
For a complete list of practice exams and study materials, CLICK HERE.